More than any other country, China pressures and attempts to control overseas populations of Chinese and members of exile minority communities, according to Freedom House, a non-profit group that advocates on issues of democracy, political freedom, and human rights. “The extensive scope of China’s transnational repression is a result of a broad and ever-expanding definition of who should be subject to extraterritorial control by the Chinese Communist Party.”
On July 3, Hong Kong police issued wanted notices for eight former pro-democracy activists currently living in the United States, Australia, Britain, and Canada, accusing them of various serious offences under Hong Kong’s draconian, Beijing-imposed National Security Law. They include former pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Law, Ted Hui, and Dennis Kwok; lawyer Kevin Yam; and activists Finn Lau, Anna Kwok, Elmer Yuen, and Christopher Mung.
The wanted notices, accuse each of the eight activists of numerous security offences, including subversion, collusion with foreign governments, terrorist activities, incitement to secession, and of allegedly urging Western nations to impose sanctions against Hong Kong officials. The notices include the offer of a reward of one million Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to nearly 128,000 U.S. dollars, for information leading to the arrest of each of the eight.
“The United States condemns the Hong Kong Police Force’s issuance of an international bounty for information leading to the arrest of eight pro-democracy activists who no longer live in Hong Kong,” said State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller in a written statement. “The extraterritorial application of the Beijing-imposed National Security Law is a dangerous precedent that threatens the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people all over the world,” he said.
“We call on the Hong Kong government to immediately withdraw this bounty, respect other countries’ sovereignty, and stop the international assertion of the National Security Law imposed by Beijing,” said Spokesperson Matthews.
“We will continue to oppose the PRC’s transnational repression efforts, which undermine human rights. We support individuals’ rights to freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.”